AFC South: 2013 Week 4 QB Watch AFC

QB Watch: Colts’ Andrew Luck

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Colts’ quarterback play.

Luck
Rewind: Andrew Luck played his worst quarter of football this season in the first 15 minutes against the Jaguars. He threw an interception and was fortunate the Jaguars were offside on another interception. Both happened on the first two offensive series for Luck. He had a 36.4 quarterback rating after a first quarter in which he also forced some throws and had communication issues with receiver T.Y. Hilton. Luck called his start “terrible.” But Luck, as expected, got it going after the first quarter. He finished the game 22-of-36 for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

Fast-forward: Colts coach Chuck Pagano described Seattle’s secondary as being “huge.” Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are both at least 6-foot-3 and the Seahawks are fifth in the league in pass defense, giving up only 191 yards a game through the air. Seattle is tied for third in the league in interceptions (seven) and is in the middle of the pack in sacks (11). Luck has been sacked only three times in the past two games after going down seven times in the first two games.

On target: Luck had to improve his accuracy this season after averaging 39 attempts a game and completing only 54 percent of his passes his rookie season. He’s taken a significant leap this season, completing 64 percent of his passes on 32 attempts a game. He has completed at least 60 percent of his attempts in three of four games this season. He completed at least 60 percent just four times all of last season.

Prediction: The Seahawks will get to Luck at times, but expect the quarterback to do enough to shake off any frustration that may occur from Seattle’s defense to make the necessary plays in the fourth quarter.

QB Watch: Titans' Ryan Fitzpatrick

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Tennessee Titans' quarterback play:

Rewind: Jake Locker was outstanding against the Jets, with three first-half touchdown passes and a 130.0 passer rating before he was knocked out of the game with hip and knee injuries early in the third quarter. He was making smart decisions and good throws and New York didn't have an answer. Ryan Fitzpatrick entered with the Titans ahead 24-6 and saw his job at that point as being not to screw it up. He didn't. The team was sluggish after Locker was knocked out, but Fitzpatrick eventually got a deep ball to Nate Washington for a 77-yard touchdown that helped ensure a blowout.

Fitzpatrick
Locker
Fast-forward: Locker is out at least a few games with a sprained hip and a sprained knee on his right leg. That puts Fitzpatrick into the lineup as the starter. Dowell Loggains designed a game plan with the intent of steering things to Fitzpatrick's strengths and away from his weaknesses. He's got a good arm, he's a good athlete and he's smart. This is the most talented defense he's had on his side and the Titans will surely try to establish Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene, if he's available. Backup quarterbacks around the league are weak, and the Titans' situation is about as good as they can hope for.

Interceptions: Fitzpatrick has thrown 81 picks in 75 games and also fumbled 40 times. That's a lot of turnovers. But he has been with the Titans since March and the team believes in its system Fitzpatrick won't need to try to force things and can protect the ball. He'll need to -- the Titans are plus-nine in turnovers, with zero giveaways.

Prediction: I think Fitzpatrick will play well enough for the Titans to have a chance to win. But I expect the Chiefs, who have five picks from five defenders, will find an interception along the way. Fitzpatrick could throw more passes to the middle of the field than Locker has.

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